Ethanol vs. CO2 for Cannabis and Hemp Extraction

Cannabis and Hemp are undoubtedly leading the top trends of the health and wellness industry right now. Holding the ownership of a surplus amount of health benefitting properties have made these two ingredients to reign the remedial market. The usage of cannabis and hemp is not limited to recreational use. Cannabis benefits from a large reserve of cannabinoids that one can reap benefits from, by not sticking to the primary method of smoking. Masses are gradually learning the ABCs of cannabis and its efficient usage, which is making the cannabis and hemp industries experience a rise in its demand for supply.

Some of the most popular cannabis products comprise oil, tinctures, salves, creams, gummies and vape juices that are currently heavy in demand. These cannabis products furnish similar remedial properties though the effects may vary with the concentration. However, a large difference transpires through the method being in use for the extraction of cannabis or hemp.

The extraction process plays a pivotal role in defining the quality of the extracted product. Cannabis is more than just CBD and THC, comprising other astonishing cannabinoids such as CBN, THCA, CBD Terpenes and CBDA that one can reap benefits from if included in the lifestyle. Choices in the extraction process allow you to pick the benefits you wish to avail for yourself. Among the traditional and modern methods, two names are leading the cannabis extraction domain. These are Ethanol and CO2 extraction methods. 

Choosing which method to consider depends on what the extraction specialists want to get out of it. Nevertheless, the users must also get a little insight into this process, which is why we have accumulated this informative piece to educate you regarding the rudiments of cannabis extraction. Here is how ethanol and CO2 extraction for cannabis and hemp extraction works out!

Ethanol Extraction

One of the most popular and old methods for cannabis and hemp extraction is Ethanol extraction. As its name suggests, the ethanol method introduces hemp buds to the ethyl alcohol solution while letting it sit for an hour or so to extract. Later, the solution is boiled to remove certain compounds that are not useful and evaporate at low boiling levels, consequently, leaving you with a pure batch of cannabis or hemp extraction.  You can use the products refined from this production method to use in cannabis edibles and topicals, as they would not emit the unusual taste or smell of the hemp. 

The method of ethanol extraction steps ahead of the CO2 process in terms of precision and cost. Products obtained from ethanol extraction ensure 99% purity emerging as a better option in comparison to various other methods. Ethanol extraction is also cost-effective if compared to the other prevailing methods of cannabis and hemp extraction that use expensive machinery. This process might use higher levels of energy to carry out its process, though it is best for extensive operations. Experts recommend it mostly for high-scale harvest extraction.

CO2 Extraction

An already leading method of extraction of various food ingredients, CO2 extraction use carbon dioxide in its liquid state (known as Supercritical CO2) to extract the specific constituents from the hemp or cannabis. The lengthy process of CO2 extraction uses temperature and pressure to aim towards the extraction of the relevant component of the plant. It demands several pieces of equipment and high-quality CO2 extraction unit that is a little pricier than other methods. However, the quality and effect of CO2 extracted products compensate for the expenditure with their efficiency. 

The CO2 extraction method secures the “weedy” flavor of cannabis and hemp, which also helps in maintaining the fragrance of the product intact. On the other hand, ethanol extraction loses its flavor profile during the time of extraction. CO2 extractions are pure and lack toxicity under the heavy circumstances of pressure and varying temperatures. If you prefer vaping over any other method, then products obtained from the CO2 extraction will allow you the comparison of CBD vape juices to choose from a wide range of varying flavors and effects.


After knowing how the two methods of CO2 and Ethanol extraction differ from each other, the question arises regarding preference. Both are proficient in their performances and the choice depends upon the desired end product that expert wishes to achieve through the process. As the demand will rise in the market for specific traits of the cannabis or hemp, the process will also change with it. 

Home growers can buy Indica seeds online to get their healthy harvest extracted accordingly after knowing the rudiments of various extraction methods of cannabis and hemp. The information regarding extraction methods will only lead you to choose the finest product for yourself, so get ready to claim the best out of your cannabis and hemp product!

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